What happens when we rely on habits, perceptions and assumptions without knowing the facts? Conflict is at the heart of all drama that CAT uses to raise the questions we may not be asking of ourselves and our community. The human experience is very complex in this fast-paced, ever-changing world and there is no way around it; however there are skills that help us navigate the challenges and attain positive growth and progress.
Through interactive strategies and drama, CAT captures a panoramic view of our society and zooms in on specific issues and behaviors that create obstacles in our lives. These workshops encourage participants, in a safe environment through a co-intentional process, to carefully examine the choices, decisions and consequences of everyday challenges, to raise awareness, discover solutions and promote problem solving, decision-making, critical thinking and self-advocacy skills, and to build the confidence of every participant.
In high schools large and small and community out-of-school-time programs, older adolescents are particularly hungry for ways to explore real-life opportunities and challenges. CAT makes an impact through interactive workshops on immediately applicable topics, including:
- Violence Prevention/Anti-Bullying
- College Readiness & Access
- Workplace Readiness
- Healthy Relationships
- HIV/STI Awareness & Prevention
- After-School Youth Theatre Program (TAP)
- Shakespeare in the Classroom
- and more!
For information about specific residencies and workshops currently available, click on the "Key Themes" tab above.
Contact Heidi Kleister, at 212.652.2013 or Heidi.Kleister@cuny.edu, to discuss options for your school.
High School of Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture - THEATER ARTS PLAYERS
This program meets once a week at HSCTEA, with a focus on theater arts; acting technique, improvisation, devising, ensemble work, rehearsal and creating a final presentation. At the end of the school year there will be a culminating, original performance, created by CTEA students and directed by Keith Johnston.
Depending on the workshop or residency, students will:
- Become more engaged in school
- Envision high school graduation and post-secondary education
- Improve their critical thinking and social-emotional skills
- Improve their content knowledge in the workshop topics
- Address competing family, school, and work priorities
- Build and develop their literacy & social skills
In Parent and Professional Development workshops:
- Parents and caregivers will explore strategies for supporting their children’s academic and social growth
- Educators will explore strategies for supporting their students' academic and social growth
- Educators will develop student-centered, interactive techniques for addressing sensitive issues
Teachers reported improvements in students’:
Academic skills: participation, observing and interpreting, distinguishing cause from effect, understanding of assignments, decision making
Social-emotional skills: collaboration, negotiation, expressiveness, cooperation, anger management
Improved content knowledge: age appropriate knowledge of sexuality, better knowledge of the risk factors and transmission mechanisms of HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted infections (STI)
- College and Workplace Readiness: knowledge about college preparation and accessibility as well as options for collegiate retention programs, ability to navigate interview questions and communicate with professional staff or faculty
“I loved that the students saw a familiar situation that they could easily relate to and were pushed to view it from a different perspective.”
- Faculty, Borough of Manhattan Community College
- Identity and self esteem
- Peer and family relationships
- Health and wellness-HIV/AIDS/STI awareness and prevention
- Positive alternatives to substance use and abuse
- Positive alternatives to violence and bullying
- Basic financial literacy
- Stress management
Anger management and conflict resolution
School Violence Prevention
This residency includes in-class workshops for students, professional development for educators, a parent workshops and culminating cross-site gathering for teachers from all participating schools. Residencies can explore physical, verbal and cyber-bullying, as well as relationship violence, and can be tailored to fit conerns of participating schools.
High School Literacy Initiative
Including in-class workshops for students and professional development for educators, this residency includes various literacy skill-building activities, tailored to work with the classroom teacher's curriculum and always aligned with the NYS Common Core Standards for English Language Arts.
Shakespeare in the Classroom/NYC Student Shakespeare Festival
CAT has two options for those who would like to engage their students in Shakespeare - Shakespeare in the Classroom is a short-term residency that can be tailored to fit the play you are working on and our Shakespeare Festival, which includes professional development, residency and a culminating festival at an Off-Broadway theatre. For more information and registration, see our NYCSSF page.
Healthy Choices/Project CHANGE
Project CHANGE is a special peer-education, HIV/STI awareness and prevention program - workshops and residencies available. For more information, visit our Project CHANGE page.
Current workshops include:
The "A" Game - Academic Success
Attitude, Aptitude, Accountability and Adaptability. Students may have habits that hinder their success. Examine common obstacles and explore avenues to academic success. Through role play, intervention and other interactive activities, this session helps build concrete skills, increase awareness of individual learning styles.
What's the problem? Conflict Resolution
Although individual and collective intentions may be good, the outcomes may not be. Through interactive scenes, games and skill-building activities, participants explore innovative ways to avoid and resolve everyday conflicts. These strategies break down internal and external conflicts to get to the causes and effects and, through analysis and intervention, reach solutions.
Is it ever going to Stop? - Anti-Bullying & Violence Prevention
Violence is on the rise. What is a bully, what is harassment, and why does it happen? What role do we play and how can we be proactive to stop or deescalate violence around us? Explore the idea of “no snitching,” define the source of a problem and develop skills to prevent or deescalate the violence in our community.
The Time is NOW - Time Management
Overwhelmed? Get it together. Examine common challenges and consequences of juggling school, work and personal life. With scenarios and intervention techniques, participants engage in activities & discussions to find do-able solutions to effectively set/meet goals through organization and time management.
Living in Oblivion - Communication
Emails, texts, tweets and Facebook! What has happened to the human brain and social interaction? Explore these questions and more through a series of vignettes and skill-building activities—discover how to be an effective communicator. Examine common behavioral patterns that work against us when trying to communicate and explore innovative adjustments we can make to achieve positive results.
Who’s in charge? - Leadership
Instead of playing the blame game, or allowing apathy to reign, take charge! Find out what you can do about “the powers that be” and self-advocacy. Through realistic scenarios and intervention strategies, take a look at common issues in our community and discover what it means to be a leader, develop individual responsibility and the power that lies within to promote progress.
What now? - Work Readiness
What is the job market like and how do we succeed in it? How do we land a good job? How do we build a career and how do we strengthen our employability? Find answers to in this interactive workshop on job readiness through drama, role-play and skill-building activities.
Why am I so sick & tired? - Health and Wellness
Take a deeper look at modern society and the choices, decisions and consequences of everyday behavior that may have adverse affects on our health. Work together to find solutions for everyday situations and explore choices for a healthier mental, physical and emotional life for you, your environment and loved ones.
What's love got to do with it? - Parenting in the 21st Century
The challenges of parenting are endless, especially in a culture of technology that changes the way we live, think and communicate. Since time does not run backwards, take a journey through the generation gap to explore successful solutions for raising children, supporting their education and modifying their behavior in the modern era. Build solid relationships to bridge the gap.
If your students are interested in a FREE, year-long, after school drama program, check out our CAT Youth Theatre Program - for Middle and High School Students.
Artistic & Education Director
Administrator, CAT Youth Theatre